Marginal chlorosis is a new disease of strawberry which was first seen in France in 1988. A phloem-restricted bacterium-like organism was found associated with the disease. Even though the organism could not be cultured, and resembles in this way most other phloem-restricted pathogens, characterization was achieved from the sequence of its PCR-generated 16S rDNA, and comparison with other organisms. From these studies, the strawberry agent was found to be a new bacterium within group 3 of the gamma subclass of , a group of Gram-negative bacteria including, in particular, insect symbionts or parasites as well as enterobacteria. Its closest relative, , is the causal agent of the son-killer trait in wasps. The two bacteria share 92% 16S rDNA sequence identity. We propose a taxon for the marginal-chlorosis-associated bacterium, ‘ Phlomobacter fragariae’.


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